If you guys have been reading my articles, you’ve probably discovered by now that I am a huge Ben Roethlisberger fan and hate when criticism comes his way (unless it’s well deserved following a pick-six or some other dumb play only Ben could make).
So when the main guys at cover32 posted their Top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL draft I completely ignored it for a while.
I said, “the Steelers don’t need a stinking quarterback!”
But I may have jumped the gun there.
I always like to make the comparison that Roethlisberger is only 31-years-old and Aaron Rodgers is 30-years-old.
So, why then, do people think Ben is washed up and old and other people think Aaron Rodgers is a young Super Star with tons of elite-level years in front of him. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
But then I remember that Roethlisberger was drafted and played in 2004, whereas Rodgers was drafted in 2005 and sat behind Brett Favre until 2008 when he became Green Bay’s full-time starting quarterback.
That means that Ben has played about four more seasons than Rodgers.
But I still don’t think Roethlisberger’s career is over or close to be over anytime soon.
But the Steelers may want to start looking as early as now and maybe groom an Aaron Rodgers like the Packers did.
Or they might want to draft a quarterback as a safety net.
Because last season Roethlisberger started all 16 games—which, for him, is a complete rarity. He’s only ever started 16 games one other time in his career (2008).
So, having a solid back-up quarterback is something the Steelers would want to invest in.
When Roethlisberger missed games in the past, the team was veteran enough to get by playing defense and running the ball.
With how the team is currently constructed, the Steelers would need someone to come in and sling the rock effectively should Roethlisberger be injured.
Last year’s back up Bruce Gradkowski is a solid NFL back-up-caliber quarterback and it would be nice to see him stick around until a younger guy is ready to assume the back-up role full time.
That’s why I don’t think the Steelers should be looking very high in the draft (at least this year) for a quarterback.
Let’s look again at cover32’s list of the Top 10 QBs in this year’s draft.
As we go through, the Steelers probably don’t have a shot at the Top 5 just based on drafting position alone. That rules out Manziel, Bridgewater, Bortles, Carr and Boyd.
But sitting at No. 6 is Zach Mettenberger from LSU—and he is a very interesting possibility. He looks like the Roethlisberger type: big, big armed, pocket QB.
But Mettenberger might be too high-cost to draft him where the Steelers would be able to draft him.
And sitting at No. 10 in cover32’s list in Georgia’s Aaron Murray—who I believe will probably be drafted no later than the fourth round.
Do the Steelers really have a need for a QB before the fourth round?
Four other positions come to mind that need immediate attention: cornerback, offensive line, defensive line and wide receiver (should Emmanuel Sanders jump ship).
The Steelers should focus on loading the other positions that are in desperate-to-moderate need of attention before picking a position in which they already have a Top 6 or 7 player.
Unless they can find one of these guys in the later rounds, the Steelers should look ahead to next year to start thinking seriously about drafting a quarterback.
In the meantime: Show ’em what you can do Big Ben.